Wednesday, November 09, 2005

the caravan of life

Wake up, my heart! The world is passing by;

Life froths and flows by, free for the asking.

Don't sleep in your body, oblivious,

As the caravan of life goes by your house.

#594: From Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi

This morning I've chosen a verse at random. I've been mulling over the world stage and I'm attracted to the imagery of froth in the second line. It suggests the lightening up, the loosening up, the freeing up, that comes of a party mood. And we in Australia are in a party mood, after the extensive police raids on alleged terrorist cells. We have yet to wait and see whether the courts will also see it that way but, even if the outcome is in doubt there is a hope here that we are finding ways to handle this problem more forcefully.

Here in Australia we have about 300,000 Muslims, about half of them in Sydney. One of the news stories (on Seven News) referred to the arrested men as belonging to the Salafi sect of Islam. The news reader quoted a figure of 10,000 for the overall number of members of that sect in Australia. That's a whacking 3% of the Muslim population here. Far too much to be regarded as a mere fringe group. Salafis and Wahhabis (pretty much identical) are hardline radicals. However, many a mainstream Muslim view varies very little from this and since the Wahhabis in Saudi Arabia have the money and the influence (being custodians of the Muslim sacred sites), they can dictate much of the direction of Islam in current times. Muslims who are trying to be moderate and to fit into modern Western democracies are having a hard time expressing views that go contrary to these supposedly Islamic purists.

It was noteworthy in the media coverage that Muslim spokespeople were not applauding the police success in uncovering a terrorist cell, they were merely whingeing about Muslims being the target of racial and religious vilification. They will be accepted here sooner if they more strongly disassociate themselves from the elements within their Islamic community that are breeding the world-wide terrorist threats. They just don't do that and by failing there, they are leaving themselves open to identification with these gangs of thugs. They must decide their allegiance: either to misguided but nevertheless fellow Muslims, or to kafirs (non-Muslims and therefore infidels) who run countries in ways they are irresistably drawn to.

It seems to me that Muslims are caught in a trap, a logical trap with no obvious way out. I see their only hope being to follow the spiritually progressive elements of their faith, the Sufis especially. The Salafis and Wahhabis are generally opposed to both Sufism and Shi'a Islam but the subcontinental Muslims are attracted to Sufi mysticism which was influenced in its turn by subcontinental mysticism. How influential they can be, not being of Arab descent, is hard to say.

The Arab component of the terrorist threat cannot be ignored. There is a strong racial element there, a strong push to gain more ground in the world for Arab genes. This is done through a far higher breeding rate than is now usual in the West, combined with destructive actions against non-Arab civilians, our own gene pool. It is no coincidence that children and young people are targeted as at Beslan and in the nightclubs of Tel Aviv and Bali. These are ways of diminishing us, not only in numbers but in spirit as well.

There is an overlap, of course. This is not a purely Arab problem or a purely Muslim problem, not a purely racial or a purely religious problem. However, more and more, I am tiring of the restrictions of political correctness. I see the terrorists as acting for a larger group (Arabs, Muslims) which is not disidentifying enough. It is becoming more and more sensible to trust an Arab Muslim far less than the average man or woman. It is not the same as homophobia because I have never been hurt by a gay man or woman. On the other hand, I am repeatedly being hurt by Arab Muslims whenever they maim, kill, and terrorize my fellow citizens, my brothers and sisters in humanity.

Ah, Rumi! You did ask me to get out there into the world!


At Thursday, 10 November, 2005, Blogger Bob Hoeppner said...

Well said.

At Thursday, 10 November, 2005, Blogger Bob Hoeppner said...

>It is becoming more and more sensible to trust an Arab Muslim far less than the average man or woman.

I didn't take that statement as a racist belief you're proud of having, but as an unfortunately and regrettably evolving statistical fact.

It's hard for Muslum clerics to condemn the actions of Muslim terrorists because of the scriptural support for such action in the Koran and Hadith, and the support it engenders in the Muslim population.

By the same token, I don't know that there has been much fundamentalist Christian condemnation of abortion clinic bombers. And let's not forget that it was a fundamentalist Jew who assassinated Rabin. Most, if not all, of the Biblical punishments for breaking one of the ten commandments is death.

I'm with you on Sufism. If people need religion, I wish they would lean toward the more mystical sects like Sufism, Kabbalah, and Meister Eckhart than the more intolerantly dogmatic power mongers of their faith.

At Thursday, 10 November, 2005, Blogger Arizona said...

Thanks, Bob.

I'm having trouble even with the idea of friendship with a Muslim. When I look at Muslims I've brushed against and where friendship was invited, I can see that it was conditional on religion not being discussed. More specifically, Islam must not be criticized. It's not a basis for real relationship. I can smile and exchange comments on the weather with my local Muslim grocer, that's fine and well. Anything more has now become impossible.

I'm saddened that we seem to have upset Renata so much.

At Friday, 11 November, 2005, Blogger Bob Hoeppner said...

I haven't known any Muslims for a while now. I'm not avoiding them, I just don't meet any, as far as I know. I do know some Christians with whom I have varying degrees of friendship. We sometimes discuss religion, and we agree to disagree.

I don't know that Renata is upset so much as disappointed in us. I think she thrives on a good discussion. If anything, I think I started to get a bit upset, but I feel better now.


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